One of the very first wineries that I ever visited just before moving to California was Rodney Strong Vineyards.

Then, as luck would have it, when we moved here, we moved within a five minute car ride to Rodney Strong. I took my wine sales and marketing class with Stefan, who was working in their tasting room – and still is there about 13 years later, having moved through the ranks to be doing national sales. (Stefan had moved to California from New Hampshire, so when we met, we immediately bonded.)

There’s  a lot to be said for a company that keeps its employees for that amount of time, in this day-and-age. Stefan’s highly regarded by this company. He’s done well, and so has Rodney Strong along the way. This is because it’s always been about quality.

In my time, I was lucky enough to meet the big man behind the name. Rodney Strong was a wonderfully elegant man, who started a winery that became his namesake… Rodney Strong Vineyards, in Healdsburg.  He and his wife Charlotte were both dancers. Rod attended the School of American Ballet in New York, and then traveled to France to dance at the Lido. His energy was always purely infectious. It was this energy that began what we now call Rodney Strong… It was his initial energy that laid the foundation for this wine company and still sustains it, 50 years later.

As RS celebrates 50 years of business, it had the foresight years ago to launch a summer jazz program that’s now going Strong, too. Here’s their 19th Annual Summer Concert Series… In the vineyards, with great wine and sizzling music. What could be more inviting?

June 27
Peter White and Mindi Abair
Doors 4 p.m. – Showtime 5 p.m. Tickets: VIP $70 – GA $45

July 11
The Rippingtons and Craig Chaquico
Doors 4 p.m. – Showtime 5 p.m. Tickets: VIP $70 – GA $45

August 8
Guitars & Saxes 2009 featuring Euge Groove, Jeff Golub, Jeff Lorber and Jessy J
Doors 4 p.m. – Showtime 5 p.m. Tickets: VIP $70 – GA $45

August 22
The KRUSH Presents: Susan Tedeschi and JJ Grey & Mofro
Doors 4 p.m. – Showtime 5 p.m. Tickets: VIP $70 – GA $45

September 7
Daryl Hall & John Oates – Up Close and Personal Tour
In celebration of 50 Years making incredible wines, Rodney Strong Vineyards is proud to close it’s 19th Concert Season with an afternoon of timeless hits from Hall & Oates, including “Rich Girl,” “Maneater,” “Sara Smile,” “Kiss On My List,” and “One On One.”
Doors 3 p.m. Tickets: VIP $110 – GA $75

Purchase Tickets or get your Season Pass by calling 707-869-1595 or by clicking here. Starting May 9th, tickets can be purchased in person at the Rodney Strong Vineyards Tasting Room. The 2009 Season Pass includes four shows (August 22 excluded), and offers exclusive benefits such as the same reserved seat for all concerts, commemorative gifts and early announcements on future engagements. Rodney Strong Vineyards Wine Club members enjoy an exclusive reception before the shows and at intermission as well as a $5.00 discount on each ticket price. Wine Club tickets must be purchased through Rodney Strong Vineyards by calling (866) 779-4637.

See you there!